Layers: Inspired Collage for Paper Projects with Meaning

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Though the sources vary from old medical textbooks to cell phone photos, his process entails seeking particular images and then revising with them in photoshop. For Eckman-Lawn, the personal prisons that organically surfaced in this body of work revolved around an irrational fear of illness, history of family strains and some reaction to the current political climate.

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I think you can tell that those are a little more personal and might be a little more stronger. Text 2 Comments on problem solving collage Figure 2, Participant 2, adult, male ;. Researcher R : How did you feel about the collage before you started it? I am not a person who does collage. R: But you did do it in the end? P: Yes, the only way I could do it was, I put on some choral music which I like, I do listen to music sometimes but most of the time I am doing something purposeful…I had to have something else in my head to get going on it or it would seem like a waste of half an hour.

5 Contemporary Collage Artists Adding New Layers - Artland Magazine

P: Well… as I was, as I was trying to do it I found myself interested in the way I was selecting things, how I discard some things, like, I am someone who tries, and I try to persuade other people to do this too, to move on, to select a way forward and put the other possibilities, which we have decided not to do, onto one side, to discard them and move on. It was like acting out something about myself. I had to decide, select what side of the paper I would keep and which bit discard or hide, it was all about selection…This became pleasurable when I had some idea of where I was going with it… R: What are these two piles?

When I got the idea of the map or journey I really did enjoy it. R: Most people throw away the discards. You have stuck them on the collage. Was there a reason for that? This extract from a journal article written at the time and subsequently incorporated into reflections in the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice sums up the value of the collage to me, particularly the process of selection from random materials.

Figure 3 Problem-solving collage researcher — artist, adult female. This activity was drawn from my own experience at the HEA workshop described above. At the end of the session we discussed their experience and at the start of the second session a week later had a brief group discussion reflecting on its impact. I made notes from this discussion but there was no further follow-up as it was the last session of term in each case.

Cas Holmes – Layers, Lines and Image

This was by no means a satisfactory research exercise, having no means to measure changes in concentration or learning. However, as an activity suggestive of further research, I have included it here for its relevance to issues of resistance to and acceptance of creative methods, rather than the light it sheds on collage as an aid to thinking. Further research might include a questionnaire reflecting on self-reported change and feedback from other lecturers. For Youth and Community Work students I was restricted to one two-hour session which was less formal for example, sitting in a circle rather than in a lecture theatre.


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I introduced the session as above, but invited students to select collage material from a wide range laid out on a table. Students made collage books while I gave a presentation about visual and creative methodologies. The making was followed by a group discussion and some people shared their books. Figure 4 Collage made referring to content of lecture A4 folded paper Participant, geography student, male. Some students made work clearly referring to the lecture content Figure 4 ; these sometimes used text or phrases from the lecture or commented on it.

Others made collages clearly relating to feelings. A male student made a page, Figure 5 , with fierce concentration while listening to a video clip of a woman describing her experience of domestic violence.


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  8. My interpretation of the drawing was that it reflected his turbulent feelings through colour and markmaking, and intensity through strength of physical gesture pressure on page and over drawing. As such, it might offer a useful prompt to further discussion or thinking. Figure 5 Made whilst listening to video clip about domestic violence A5 Participant, geography student, male. Mixed gender groups marginally more female.

    In each group all but three students participated five male, one female. There were varying degrees of willingness to take part. Six students three in each group said they felt that the activity had improved their concentration. In both groups several students said that they had been repeatedly told off in school for persistently doodling during lessons. There was no way of telling if this activity did improve concentration, although the self-report of a small number of students might suggest so in some cases.

    More male students voiced their reluctance, but there could be many reasons for this. Resistance to participation was linked in discussion either to lack of commitment to qualitative methods many of the students were using exclusively quantitative methods in their own research and had not used qualitative methods before , or to reluctance to do an arts-based activity because of lack of skill or experience. Figure 6 Collage made expressing personal feelings A5 Participant, youth work student, female.

    Keep that in mind and then take the rest of the time making it happen. For all the dynamic ways we can use drawing to fill pages and pages of our sketchbooks, enjoy this video from the dynamo instructor herself, Gigi Chen. It is the perfect way to kick off a studio session. Invite a handful or more friends to come over and bring a creative project with them. Knitters, novelists, scrapbookers, artists — bring them all together for a weekend afternoon or workday evening and just make together in the same place.

    If it goes well, why not talk collaborations? How can you put your creative energy together and make something fun and meaningful? Why should Seurat or Yayoi Kusama have all the fun? Take a still life or landscape composition and turn it into a dot extravaganza. You can definitely use a paintbrush to make the dots, but it can be too tempting to resist changing up your strokes if you use a conventional brush.

    Use a handful of old pencils with intact erasers. Fit for the sketchbook or small pieces of paper. Whether you listen to vinyl, cassettes or digital tunes, assemble five to eight of your favorite tunes.

    As each song plays, make marks and shapes and use colors that reflect what you hear and what you feel about the song. Play your greatest hits list through two or three times. Move from song and page to song over an hour or so. Grab a pencil or pen and make a stray mark across your paper or canvas.

    That becomes your starting point for what you create next! Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash. Grab a pen or colored pencil and make a mark across your paper or canvas. Even better, ask someone in your household or nearby to make the mark for you! That mark is the kickoff to … what?

    A vase of flowers?

    5 Contemporary Collage Artists Adding New Layers

    A meandering river? Use your imagination and go with your gut. What do you see? Use this as an opportunity to let your inner eye drive you.

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